Justice Ginsburg’s Seat: To Fill or Not To Fill

Supreme Court

Ryan Mansfield

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is the highest court in the United States. This court has nine judges that have to deal with the hardest cases that could not be settled at lower levels. Justices take their jobs seriously, and they all have different views on what is constitutional and what is not.

Justice Ginsburg

Sadly, in September 2020, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away leaving her empty seat to be filled. Justice Ginsburg fought for rights for all people, but women’s rights were a main goal that she had. She was a pioneer for women all over the country and even the world. According to an article by ACLU, Justice Ginsburg once said, “Women’s rights are an essential part of the overall human rights agenda, trained on the equal dignity and ability to live in freedom all people should enjoy.” She was a great justice and an even better person. This country will miss her greatly.

The question that stands now is, who should fill that vacant seat of the late Justice Ginsburg. Both Democrats and Republicans are arguing what they believe should be done and each believes that the other is wrong. The truth is both sides are being hypocrites because back in 2016 our country faced the same decision.

In 2016, Justice Antonin Scalia passed away unexpectedly. Democrats believed that the seat should have been filled by former President Barack Obama, and Republicans believed that it should be filled by whoever was to be elected the next President of the United States, hoping that a Republican would win. As we know, the seat was eventually filled by President Trump who appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Today, Democrats argue that the process of appointing a justice is being rushed with less than three weeks to go until the election in which millions have already voted. They believe that the American people should decide by selecting the president who will then select the next supreme court justice. On September 18th, 2020, Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer Tweeted, “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President. Senator Schumer is leading the charge to try to delay the appointment until after the election because the confirmation process goes through the Senate.

Presidential candidate Joe Biden also believes that whoever is elected or reelected in November should be the one to fill the seat on the Supreme Court. On September 19th, 2020, the former vice president tweeted, “Let me be clear: The voters should pick a President, and that President should select a successor to Justice Ginsburg.” The former vice president strongly believes that the next person elected should be the president to fill the seat of the late Justice Ginsburg.

Most, Republicans on the other hand believe exactly the opposite. They believe that it is the president’s duty to select a Supreme Court Justice and then it is the Senate’s job to confirm or reject that Justice. They believe that the American people selected a president and that it is his job to fill the seat. In a statement released by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, he said, “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.” Republicans believe that because they hold both the Senate and the White House that they will be able to appoint and confirm a more conservative justice.

President Trump also agrees with leader McConnell. He believes that because he was elected president that it is his job to select a Supreme Court Justice. During the presidential debate last month President Trump said, “We have the Senate. We have the White House, and we have a phenomenal nominee.” President Trump said the Republicans have both the White House and the Senate. They have every right to fill the seat of Justice Ginsburg.

Another issue has now risen. Democrats have been contemplating packing the Supreme Court with more liberal judges. If president Trump fills the seat but then loses the election, Democrats may consider packing the court. Former Vice President Joe Biden and Democratic nominee will not answer if he would pack the court. According to Forbes Magazine, when asked if voters deserve to know if he is planning on packing the court, he said, “No. They don’t deserve.” The former Vice President then said he did not want to play into the hands of President Trump, and that is why he said that.

In my opinion, both sides are hypocrites. Back in 2016, both sides had positions that were the opposite of what they are now proving that neither party can be trusted. I believe that President Trump should fill the seat on the Supreme Court because he is the President, and that is his job. I believe that former President Obama should have been able to fill the seat in 2016, but the Republicans and Mitch McConnell just played good politics because they controlled the Senate which confirms nominees.


Judge Barrett with President Trump. (shealah_craighead)

Whoever becomes the next Supreme Court Justice will be qualified and should be given a chance from both parties. Whether it is Judge Amy Coney Barrett or someone else, both parties should treat the nominee with respect and give them a fair chance during their hearing.